Dental Crowns & Dental Bridges near Wheeling, WV

Dental Crowns | Cosmetic Dentistry Near Wheeling, WV

Dental Crowns

This is an ideal solution to restoring teeth that have been damaged by severe decay, extreme wear, or trauma resulting in a crack or break. Dr. Wylie designs crowns that fit and feel like your natural teeth. Our porcelain crowns provide you with the all-white smile you deserve and help keep you healthy and looking good.

If you know an older person, he or she may refer to a crown as a “cap.” It’s a good way to think of a crown since a crown basically provides a cap over the top of a damaged tooth to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. Crowns are made of porcelain and, when cemented into place, they cover the entire visible portion of the tooth down to the gumline. If a tooth has either an overly large filling or other serious damage, it may not survive if left as is. Dr. Wylie places a porcelain crown over the damaged tooth. This prosthetic provides strength for chewing and daily use. Crowns can also cover misshapen teeth or can fill gaps between teeth. Crowns are also used as the anchors for dental bridges.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?

  • To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
  • To cover a dental implant
  • To make a cosmetic modification
The purpose of placing a crown on a tooth can be strictly cosmetic, say to change the shape of a misshapen or undersized tooth, or it can be the only way to keep the tooth from needing to be extracted. For instance, if a tooth has a previous filling and then acquires new decay, there may not be enough healthy tooth material left for the tooth to be filled again. A crown can save the tooth, so the patient doesn’t need it extracted and then replaced with a dental implant or a bridge. Aesthetically, because they fully cover the tooth, crowns can change the shape and characteristics of a tooth more than porcelain veneers.

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What are dental crowns made of?

Dental crowns used to be made predominantly of gold, which made them very visible when the person opened his or her mouth. Dr. Wylie prefers his crowns to be made from dental porcelain. Porcelain is very strong and durable. Plus, it closely mimics the appearance of natural tooth enamel in the way it absorbs some light and reflects some light. Dental porcelain is also very resistant to staining.

How long do they last?

The lifespan of a crown can be influenced by your home hygiene. With a good home regimen, your crown should last up to 20 years.

What Steps Are Involved in Preparing a Tooth for a Crown?

Wylie Dental Care | Cosmetic Dentistry Near Wheeling, WV
Preparing a tooth for a crown usually requires two visits to the dentist — the first step involves examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit involves placement of the permanent crown.
Who is a good candidate for a crown?

A crown is a useful dental prosthetic that can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. If you have these issues with a tooth or teeth, a porcelain crown from Dr. Wylie could be a good option:

  • Teeth with very large fillings
  • Chipped teeth
  • Heavily decayed teeth
  • Severely worn teeth (maybe from bruxism)
  • Severely discolored teeth
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Teeth that have had a root canal
  • Teeth on both sides of a bridge

First Visit: Examining and preparing the tooth.

At the first visit in preparation for a crown, your dentist may take a few X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and surrounding bone. If the tooth has extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal treatment may first be performed.

Wylie Dental Care | Cosmetic Dentistry Near Wheeling, WV

Wylie Dental Care | Cosmetic Dentistry Near Wheeling, WV

Before the process of making a crown begins, your dentist will anesthetize (numb) the tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used (for instance, all-metal crowns are thinner and require less tooth structure removal than all­ porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones). If a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), your dentist will use filling material to “build up” the tooth to support the crown.

After reshaping the tooth, your dentist will use a paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite.

The impressions are sent to a dental lab where the crown will be manufactured. The crown is usually returned to your dentist’s office in two to three weeks. If the crown is made of porcelain, your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the color of the neighboring teeth. During this first office visit your dentist will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made. Temporary crowns usually are made of acrylic and are held in place using temporary cement.

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Second Visit: Receiving the permanent dental crown.

At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place.

Wylie Dental Care | Cosmetic Dentistry Near Wheeling, WV

Wylie Dental Care | Cosmetic Dentistry Near Wheeling, WV

There are several types of crowns that can be used, including ceramic, porcelain, resin, and stainless steel (cosmetic crowns are usually made of porcelain or ceramic). Since, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are pros and cons for each type, you should have your dentist address your specific situation and make a recommendation on which is best for your tooth.

Dental Bridges

As the name implies, a dental bridge spans the gap created by a missing tooth or teeth. Like a bridge you drive across, a dental bridge has three parts: two crowns (called the abutment teeth) on each side of the gap and the span in the middle. In this case, the span is an artificial tooth or teeth (called the pontics). Bridges are made as a single piece and are permanently cemented onto the two abutment teeth.

This is a description of a traditional bridge, but “cantilever bridges” are used when there are healthy teeth for anchoring on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth and “Maryland bridges” are used on the front teeth.

How do Bridges Work?

A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Wylie Dental Care | Cosmetic Dentistry Near Wheeling, WV
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

What Is the Process for Getting a Dental Bridge?

During the first visit for getting a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared. Preparation involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of the teeth are made, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pantie, and crowns will be made by a dental lab. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.

During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. This is dependent on each individual’s case. If the dental bridge is a fixed bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is cemented into place.

Is a bridge right for me?

If you’re missing a tooth or a couple of teeth, a bridge is a good solution. It’s a bad idea not to replace a missing tooth or teeth, as the adjacent teeth will slide over into the gap, and this can ruin the alignment of your bite. The only options for replacing a missing tooth or teeth are bridges or dental implants. Full dentures would replace a full arch of missing teeth.

Are There other options?

Dental implants are the alternative to a bridge. Implants consist of a titanium anchor that is screwed down into the former socket that held the tooth root. The jawbone then grows around and accepts the titanium implant over the course of a few months. Once that process is complete, a post is attached to the implant, and an artificial tooth is attached to that. Implants are a possibility for replacing a single tooth or even a few teeth. If you are missing more than just a couple of teeth, an alternative is a partial denture. These can be anchored by implants.

How do I care for a bridge and how long do they last?

The life of a bridge is usually dependent upon the health of the abutment teeth. If they remain healthy, a bridge can last up to 15 years or longer. Bridges really only need brushing just like your other teeth. Bridges do require some foresight when considering what you are eating. Overly sticky foods can sometimes pull a bridge off. Overly hard foods can damage a bridge.

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